Posts Tagged ‘nutritional yeast’

Pesto Sauce with a Twist

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

I have wanted to share this recipe with you all for a while now. Two things happened that provoked me to finally share it. First off the basil in my garden is ready to rock. And secondly I was stoked to find organic, gluten-free penne pasta at Costco. The brand they carry at my Costco is truRoots and check out this ingredient list: brown rice flour, corn flour, quinoa flour, and amaranth flour. All organic! I have been missing pasta soooo much since going gluten free several months ago. Discovering this package of penne pasta at Costco made me giddy! And I wanted to enjoy them in various special ways…not just with a traditional marinara sauce. Pesto sauce is a fun alternative to marinara…plus you can make it in mere minutes!

Most of you know I adore kale and am always looking for new, interesting way to prepare it (however a simple raw kale salad remains my favorite way to enjoy kale!). This pesto sauce uses kale in it! And no pine nuts. Don’t get me wrong…I love pine nuts. Love them! But man, those little dudes are pricey! Plus they are not really a staple in our diet so it is hit or miss if I will actually have them on hand when I crave pesto. However the ingredients in this Pesto Sauce with a Twist are almost always readily available in my kitchen/garden. 🙂


1/2 cup walnuts

1 – 2 cloves garlic

1 large bunch of kale, de-stemmed

generous handful of fresh basil leaves

3/4 cups olive oil

juice from 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

1 + tablespoons of water (if needed to thin out sauce)


Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until desired constistancy. Add water as needed.



World’s Best Vegan Gravy

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Vegan Christmas Dinner

I don’t know about you, but for me the Holidays came and went so quickly this year! I had a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family, although will admit in many ways it feels good to be back into a daily rhythm with the kids. The kids were all kinds of hyper with the excitement of various holiday festivities and daddy being home from work for 2 weeks! I am pretty sure hubby said on multiple occassions, “I don’t know how you do this everyday!”.

While normally hubby and I don’t exchange gifts, this year I was surprised with some new running gear, a HUGE stock pot, and a cast iron skillet. Love how spot on these gifts were as cooking and running are among my two favorite past times! And don’t they go hand in hand so lovely? Gotta eat well to run well and the more you run, the more you eat! See, what a partnership I have created, lol! 🙂

One thing I especially love about Holiday traditions are the special foods associated with them. One of my most favorite foods I make during the Holidays is a vegan gravy. Honestly I am not sure why I don’t make it more often throughout the year? It’s super easy and the whole family loves it. We serve it over a mock pan fried chicken dish made out of tofu with a side of mashed potatoes. It’s just like good ol’ home cooking but with a vegan twist!


olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon flour of choice

1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

1+ cup of water

salt and pepper to taste


1. Saute onion in olive oil.

2. Blend nutritional yeast, tahini, flour, soy sauce, and water in blender.

3. Add mixture to cooked onions and stir well.

4. Cook for approximately 10 minutes over low heat. Add water to thin if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

YUMMY! Enjoy.


*recipe adapted from Vegetarian Nights by Bonnie Mandoe

Tasty Tuesday: Vegan “Cheese Tease” Sauce

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Many moons ago, when hubby and I were dating, one of our favorite snacks was tortilla chips with cheese queso dip. Believe it or not we would buy a brick of Velveeta cheese, melt it in the microwave, and add a jar of salsa. You know that brick of cheese I’m talking about…the one you question if it is actually food or some strange edible plastic….eewww!

Once we became more conscientious about our health, we definitely stopped eating Velveeta cheese all together. I will admit though I missed eating queso dip. That is until I discovered an awesome vegan substitute that is made entirely of WHOLE FOODS! And as a bonus I can whip it together in less than 10 minutes! Seriously less than 10 minutes for a delicious, homemade, healthy, vegan, nacho cheese substitute. This recipe originated from the Vitamix recipe collection, however I have seen several variations of it floating around since I first discovered a few years ago. After experimenting a bit, the version I share below is not only my favorite, it’s also the easiest/fastest method.

I have made this cheese tease dip for non-vegan foodies and they have LOVED it. In fact most of the time they are SHOCKED when I finally divulge the ingredient list to them. You can enjoy this Cheese Tease Sauce as a dip for tortilla chips. Or poured over broccoli or mashed potatoes. Or drizzled over a fajita. Or mixed with noodles for a dairy-free mac-n-cheese. There are so many possibilities for this yummy sauce. It’s equally tasty hot or cold.

I hope you enjoy this Cheese Tease Sauce as much as I do. Actually my belly is about to explode right now from enjoying it a little too much this evening, lol! 🙂


1 cup  water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 roasted red pepper*

2/3 cup  whole raw almonds

1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder

1/4 cup  nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons sea salt


Put all ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed for approximately 3 minutes. See, easy-peasy just like I promised it would be!

*Red peppers are super duper easy to roast yourself. I roast mine in our toaster oven.



Tasty Tuesday: Quinoa Casserole

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

It’s that season again when I have more zucchini than I know what to do with because it grows so effortlessly here this time of year. Thankfully it’s such a versatile vegetable that with a little creativity I can usually make use of the plentiful zucchini harvest from our garden. We enjoy it raw in a salad, with hummus, or even shredded as “noodles” with a raw marinara sauce. It’s delicious in stir-frys and veggie fajitas. It can even be baked into yummy treats such a muffins or quick breads. There truly are so many wonderful ways to enjoy zucchini. Here’s a new favorite recipe of mine for a simple quinoa zucchini casserole* …but don’t be fooled by it’s simpleness; it’s full of flavor and substance!


2 cups of vegetable broth or water

1 cup of quinoa

Olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red pepper chopped

2 medium zucchinis, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, basil, or parsley (or any combination of the three), chopped

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring broth or water to a boil. Add quinoa. Bring to a boil again, then lower heat. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Saute onion and garlic for approx 5 minutes.

4. Add pepper, zucchini, and carrots. Saute for 5 more minutes.

5. Mix vegetables, quinoa, cilantro, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper together. Transfer mixture to a glass casserole dish coated with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Optional, serve casserole with fresh herbs sprinkled on top.


*inspired by Vitality Ventures

What’s growing in your garden right now? What yummy dishes are inspired by the goodies growing right in your own backyard?


Tasty Tuesday: Pita Chips

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011


pita bread cut into triangles

Pita chips seem to be a popular item in grocery stores right now. I see various brands and flavors displayed at stores more frequently now than I have in the past. My kids really enjoy pita chips, however a bag of them goes rather quickly and is kind of pricey. So we’ve been experimenting with making our own! Homemade pita chips are super easy to make. The prep work only takes a few minutes and they bake in about 10 minutes. The added bonus is you can make organic and/or whole wheat pita chips which are hard to find in the ready-made brands. It’s typically much cheaper to make your own pita chips, you have more control over the ingredients, and homemade pita chips are ‘heartier’ than store bought brands making it a more substantial snack for your little ones.


Pita bread

Oil (you can use any type of oil you like…Olive oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, canola oil, etc)

Seasonings: Now this is the part where you get to have fun and be creative! You can flavor your homemade pita chips any way you’d like. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Cumin, salt, and chili pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • All purpose seasoning (Braggs make a good one)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutritional yeast

Baking in the oven


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pita into triangle shape wedges. (Tip: Use a pair of kitchen shears). Drizzle with oil. Use enough oil to generously coat your pita bread. Sprinkle with seasoning to taste. Mix pita bread to thoroughly coat with oil and seasoning. Spread on baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Yummy cinnamon and sugar pita chips

Voila! Yummy, homemade pita chips are really that simple! Pair with some hummus and raw veggies and you have a delicious, healthy snack or light lunch. You can also follow the same process to make your own bagel chips!

If you try making your own pita or bagel chips I would love to hear what flavor you made and if your family enjoyed them. 🙂
Getting ready to purchase cloth diapers but not sure if you want to go with the hook and loop closure or snaps? Check out tomorrow’s post that reviews the pros and cons of both options.